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September 16, 1988

The Premenstrual Syndromes

Author Affiliations

St Paul

St Paul


edited by Leslie Hartley Gise (Contemporary Issues in Obstetrics and Gynecology, vol 2, N. G. Kase and R. L. Berkowitz, eds; symposium), 157 pp, with illus, $39, New York, Churchill Livingstone, 1988.

JAMA. 1988;260(11):1629-1630. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410110137049

"Premenstrual tension" was first described by Frank in 1931, but truly scientific investigation of this condition, now known as "PMS" ("premenstrual syndrome") has scarcely begun. It remains a poorly defined condition for which we know neither the cause nor the treatment. That women are victimized by their hormones is a common conviction among the laity, who are demanding help for PMS victims from a somewhat bewildered medical profession. Much is currently being written about PMS, and we are witnessing an almost cultlike wave of symposia, lectures, and even videotapes on the topic. If the clinical entity PMS really exists, the legal and economic implications are many. The subject demands and deserves our serious concern.

This 157-page volume consists of ten papers presented at a symposium entitled "Premenstrual Syndrome: New Findings and Controversies," recently held at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City. The updated contributions are described by